Frequently Asked Questions:
Not sure what child dedication is or wondering what that means for your family? Below are our most frequently asked questions.
For additional questions, email Connie Barkalow.
Q: What is Child Dedication?
Child dedication is a public commitment you make before God, your church, and your family. It means you, as parents are partnering with God as you raise your children.
Q: What is a “dedication service?”
The dedication service provides you, the parent, with an opportunity to publicly express your desire to lead and spiritually nurture your child in cooperation with the Holy Spirit, so your child will develop a desire to love God and love others.
Q: What do I need to do to participate in a Child Dedication?
To have your child dedicated at Vineyard Church, we ask parents to…
- Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
- Be sure your beliefs line up with Vineyard Church’s Vision, Mission, and Goals.
- Be regular attenders of Vineyard weekend services
- Attend a Child Dedication class before dedicating their children at one of our services.
Q. Do I need to be a member of Vineyard Church to dedicate my child?
No! You don’t need to be a member of Vineyard Church to have your child dedicated. But, we encourage parents to make sure they are calling Vineyard your home church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision, so they can be all-in in their partnership with the church. Attending Vineyard 101 prior to dedicating your child is a good idea.
Q: How old does my child need to be to take part in the dedication ceremony?
Vineyard dedicates children from birth to two years old. Older children can be dedicated with a younger sibling.
Q: Can a single parent participate in the dedication ceremony?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents!) to do their best to raise your child to be a follower of Christ. We highly encourage single parents to dedicate your child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their ex-spouse. Ideally, both parents—even if not married—would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We know this is often not possible, and it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, we are committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for your child’s upbringing.
Q: Why does Vineyard do Child Dedication services?
One key step in marking your desire to nurture your child in the ways of God is to dedicate him or her to God publicly, through a child dedication ceremony.
The scriptural root of a child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28, where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. He answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words:
“I asked the Lord to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. Now I am giving him to the Lord, and he will belong to the Lord his whole life.” And they worshiped the Lord there.
In Luke chapter 2 of the New Testament, following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated Him.
In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God.
The writings of Moses found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9 describe God’s plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Q: Does Vineyard baptize infants?
Vineyard believes Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Rather than baptizing infants, Vineyard encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with Scripture.
Scripture provides evidence that Baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47–48). And the New Testament records the baptisms of adult believers only.
In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them, and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their need to receive forgiveness and eternal life through Christ and His work on the cross.